How do I know if I have anxiety?
Everybody experiences worry, nervousness, and fear. Sometimes these worries and fears disrupt your life to the point that it could be classified as a disorder. Anxiety disorders involve, among other things, excessive worry, feelings of restlessness, difficulty relaxing or sleeping, irritability, and panic. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety is the most common mental health struggle in the United States, affecting about 40 million Americans 18 and older, and about 18.1% yearly. Many people experience anxiety at some point in their lives, but “common” doesn’t mean “easy.” If you are asking yourself whether you have anxiety, the next–and often difficult–step is asking for help. We consider it our greatest privilege to answer the call.
Treatment for anxiety
Because anxiety is so common, there are many models of therapy well-suited to treating it. These include:
- Internal Family Systems (IFS) – IFS theorizes that “managing parts” handle a lot of the day-to-day functioning when we are experiencing distress. This can come out as controlling behaviors and perfectionism, and can leave you feeling unlike yourself. IFS aims to help clients function from a place of “Self”: calmness, clarity, and connectedness.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT is focused on beliefs and thoughts, and how they fuel emotions and behaviors. Collaborating with a therapist, many clients are able to identify and correct thinking errors that drive their anxiety.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – While similar to CBT, DBT also incorporates mindfulness, acceptance, and emotional regulation skills. It manages the tension of two opposites, acceptance and change, making the approach equally validating and motivating. DBT skills can be especially helpful for managing social interaction and uncertainty.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) – EMDR can help alleviate anxiety symptoms by targeting distressing scenarios and fears and reprocessing reactions to them.
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) – ACT utilizes mindfulness skills to help clients develop psychological flexibility (especially helpful for adapting to difficult circumstances, changes, and uncertainty) and live in accordance with their values to promote well-being.
- Family Therapy – It may be helpful to involve key family members in therapy. Family stress caused by conflict or circumstance can sometimes manifest as anxiety symptoms in one or more individuals within the family.
- Couple Therapy – Couple therapy can be helpful for the treatment of anxiety to address how it may disrupt the relationship, bolster empathy in the relationship, or adjust partner dynamics that may be contributing to anxiety.
Is it anxiety or something else?
Like depression, anxiety symptoms are associated with several other types of disorders and circumstances. In fact, it often goes hand-in-hand with depression. Our therapists at Lakewood Family Therapy are skilled at the treatment of anxiety in all forms. Anxiety doesn’t have to rule your life anymore. We will collaborate with you to confront life’s unknowns and help you rediscover your strength and joy.